Conversations with God Points of Contact
Sermon Summary

This message takes an in-depth look at one of King David's prayers which is found in Psalm 25. David's conversation with God is filled with the concept of acknowledgement. He first acknowledges God as the sovereign LORD to whom he lifts his soul. He then acknowledges his need for God, His forgiveness and His wisdom. In the middle of his prayer he begins to recite various aspects of God's character, like good and upright. Towards the end of his prayer he acknowledges the many issues he is facing and once again cries out for God's help. We learn from David's prayer the importance of acknowledgement as an aspect of our own prayer life!

Community Group Discussion Guide
1. After reading the following definition of acknowledgement, discuss why acknowledgement is such an important part of any conversation with God.
Acknowledgment - acceptance of the truth or existence of something, the action of expressing or
displaying gratitude or appreciation for something.
Psa 91:14  "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
Psa 91:15  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

2. David acknowledged God’s position as LORD, the Sovereign King, the Almighty, the God of the universe. God doesn’t need us to remind Him of who He is so why is important we include an acknowledgement of who He is in our prayers?
Psa 118:5  In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
Psa 118:6  The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Psa 118:7  The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
Psa 118:8  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
Psa 118:9  It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

3. David acknowledged his need for God’s forgiveness, God’s wisdom, and God’s help with life’s many issues. Can you relate? In what ways?
Psa 25:15  My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Psa 25:16  Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psa 25:17  The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
Psa 25:18  Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
Psa 25:19  See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
Psa 25:20  Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

4. David acknowledged God’s good and upright character. What aspects of God’s character bring encouragement to you in your life and why?
Deu 32:3  I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
Deu 32:4  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.


Full Sermon Notes

"When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil"

Edward Mote (1797-1874)

What does it mean, "My anchor holds within the veil?" Remember last week we talked about how when Jesus died the veil, the thick curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, was torn in half from top to bottom. The veil that separated the holy presence of God from the sinfulness of mankind!

We find this in Luke's Gospel 23:44-47...

Luke 23:44-47 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  
When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

The veil was a protection for the people. It protected them from the Holiness of God, because, the holiness of God would strike out to destroy the sin, and in the process the sinner would be destroyed. God didn't want that to happen so He allowed Jesus to be broken and torn for our sake. And now, through the covering and cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus we no longer have to fear being in the presence of God!! When Jesus gave His life as the perfect sacrifice, that separation was ended for all who accept His grace and mercy. So when it says, my anchor holds within the veil, it's saying that we are anchored to what was behind that veil. God Himself!

A young, single mom, who writes a Christian blog put it this way: "the thought of what within the veil represents takes my breath away. I am anchored to the very presence of God. All Sovereign. All Loving. All Trustworthy. He is my rock, my defense. He is where my soul is anchored. And He is strong enough to make sure that my anchor will always hold."

Today we have some folks here who have experienced what it means to have their soul anchored within the veil, who've asked Jesus to be their Savior, their Lord, their hope, their friend, their anchor through the storms of life! Each one of these people understand what Jesus did in order to tear down the dividing wall between us and God, and they've come to paint a very vivid picture for you this morning through baptism. Let's pray and then we'll celebrate the public profession of their faith in Christ!

Father, thank You so much for allowing us to talk with You! Thank You so much for sending Your One and Only Son Jesus to be the sacrifice that would obtain for us the privilege of knowing You personally! Bless these who have come today to share with the world they have decided to follow Jesus! To say to the world they are not ashamed to stand and be counted among those who desire to live a new life to bring honor and glory to You! Not because they have to, but because they are so grateful for the gift You died to give them. May our anthem forever be, "You died for me, I'll live for You!" May others be inspired by the picture they will see painted here today! In Jesus Name I pray and believe! Amen!

Baptism

What a testimony, what a story these folks have shared with us this morning! And what would that story be? Well, part of the story is this. Once you've accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you have access beyond the veil. You can enter into God's presence. There is a concept called the Priesthood of the Believer! What does that mean?

Priesthood of the Believer
"If you've placed your faith in what Jesus did on the Cross you no longer need a priest as a go between! As a believer, you can go straight to God!"

"Ok, is that in the Bible?" Yes it is. Hebrews 10:16-22 says this...

Hebrews 10:16-22 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

There ya go! It's in there. Priesthood of the believer! See, you can talk to God personally and not just on Sundays at Church! Everyday of the week. Now you might ask me what about people of the Old Testament before Jesus came? Here's what you need to know, we look back in history and believe Jesus came and gave His life for us! Those in the Old Testament, Noah, Moses, David and other men and women of faith looked forward in history believing a Messiah would someday come to save them. We have faith He came, they had faith He would come! And while we have a unique opportunity to have face to face conversations with God because the veil has been torn, there were people who had an amazing relationship with God back in the Old Testament. One such man was King David. He was known as a man after God's own heart. Much of the Book of Psalms was written by him. David had experienced some of the greatest thrills and privileges a life could have. When he was a young shepherd boy, God used him to take down Goliath, the giant. He became a famed warrior and later became King. But David had also experienced some of life's greatest lows. He fell into terrible sin, and faced equally terrible consequences.

He had a son, Absalom, who not only rebelled against him but tried to over throw David as King and ended up being killed by one of David's commanders. I don't have time to go into all that David faced, but you can imagine adding the responsibility of leading a nation to all the other responsibilities of life. Not an easy position. So how did David handle life? Conversations with God! That's how! And I'm so thankful David decided to record his prayers as songs. The Psalms. Today we're going to read one of his songs. It's a prayer that includes an amazing statement of faith! We can learn so much from this prayer. It includes so many great points of contact with God, but we're going to focus on the point of contact called acknowledgement!
I love the definition of acknowledgement...

Acknowledgment
1. acceptance of the truth or existence of something

Acknowledgment
2. the action of expressing or
displaying gratitude or
appreciation for something.

So let's see how acknowledgement served as in important point of contact in the conversations David had with God. Let's read the first seven verses of Psalm 25.

Psalm 25:1-7 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

Ok, let's break it down. The first thing David does is acknowledge God's Position!

David Acknowledged
God's Position

Psalm 25:1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;

David said, "To You, O LORD!" Remember, all caps for LORD meant Yahweh God. Sovereign God. Lord Almighty. David was an earthly king and the most exalted man in the land, but he acknowledged it was to God almighty he lifted his soul in prayer! Humbly acknowledging God's exalted position is an important part of prayer. Acknowledging God's position is more for you than it is for God. He knows who He is and His position in the universe! It is us who need to understand who God is! It is very reassuring to me when I realize the majesty and power of the God I'm praying to! David put it this way in another song, Psalm 8...

Psalm 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

The Old Testament prophet Zephaniah put it this way in Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

It's wonderful to know the God I'm praying to is "Mighty to Save!"
David then acknowledges his position of need!

David Acknowledged
His Position of Need

David acknowledged his need and dependence on God Almighty! David has just said, "To You, O LORD, I lift my soul!" He then takes it another step...

Psalm 25:2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

David let's God know he's trusting Him with everything in his life. David knows he could easily be put to shame for his mess-ups and mistakes. He knows he could easily be defeated by his enemies if he is left without God's mighty hand to defend and help him. David knows the only place he can find hope is in God. David mentions some of his past mess-ups in verse 7...

Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

I'm afraid not all of my mess-ups can be traced back to my youth. I wish they could, but I've discovered I make some pretty youthful mistakes as an adult! I'm I the only one? I'm thankful I can trust that God has forgiven the sins of my youth as well as my more recent mistakes. Acknowledging our great need for God and that we must trust in Him and not in our own goodness is critical. Prideful people refuse to acknowledge their need for God, and they are very much blinded by their pride. David mentioned these folks in Psalm 10:4...

Psalm 10:4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

But those who humble themselves God meets them where they are and begins the process of taking them to where He wants them to be. This can only happen when we acknowledge our need and His willingness to meet that need! This is not only true of our sin, but we also need to admit our need for His wisdom. One of the most important aspects of conversations with God is the aspect of learning! Anybody in here need the wisdom of God in their life? That would be pretty much all of us. The question is, do we acknowledge our need for His wisdom. David was considered a man after God's own heart because he sought after God's heart! He sought after God's wisdom! Listen to what he prayed in verses 4-6...

Psalm 25:4-6 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Is this cry for God's daily instruction a daily part of your conversation with God? David moves from asking God to be his teacher, and his guide, to acknowledging some things about his teacher. David not only acknowledges God's position, but he acknowledges God's character!

David Acknowledged
God's Character

Psalm 25:8-15 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Did you pick up on the character list of God here?
Good and upright!
Willing to instruct sinners in the ways of God!
Willing to guide the humble in what is right!
Willing to teach sinners His way!

And what is the characteristics of God's way?
Loving, faithful, forgiving, guiding, providing!

And here's a very important point of contact...

Knowing God is more important than knowing about God! A lot of people know facts about God, but they don't have a personal relationship with God. The religious leaders of Christ day had this affliction. They had knowledge, but not understanding and they knew the rules, but had no clue as to the reasons behind the rules. This leads to a deadly and dangerous legalism. David saw this back in his time as well and he wanted nothing to do with this kind of hollow religion. You see, David understood God was more interested in relationship than religion! Did you notice what David said in verse 14?

Psalm 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

When the Bible talks about fearing God, it's not talking about being scared of Him. It's talking about a deep, healthy, loving, respect and awe of God! David acknowledged God's position! David acknowledged his need! David acknowledged God's character! And David acknowledged his personal issues!

David Acknowledged
His Personal Issues

Yep, David had issues. He was the king, and a man after God's own heart, but he had issues. And what a list. Listen, Psalm 25:16-19...

Psalm 25:16-19 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!

Wait, David was the king, but he was…
Lonely and afflicted! Had troubles of the heart (multiplied)!  Was anguished,
distressed and even struggled with sin!
He had enemies-great in number, and not just enemies, but fierce and hateful enemies!
Can anyone in this room relate to David? Well, let me say this, I know there's at least one. And while I will not mention a name in what I'm about to share with you, I still obtained the individual's permission to share this with you today. I do a lot of counseling and I hold the confidentiality of those sessions a sacred trust. I deeply appreciate the individual for allowing me to share this with you. It touched my heart. This person is facing some difficult health issues and will have to make some tough choices. We were discussing this via text and they wrote the following statement...

“I just wish HE would clue me in to His plan for my life...cause it soooo doesn't make any logical sense to me...I don't understand it...”
“It's not that I am not praying and asking God because I am....its just no matter how quite and still my heart is it hears nothing in response...”

I replied...

“Read His Word and let that speak to your heart! Here's a good place to start...psalm 25. It's a prayer with a statement in the middle. You might hear this passage in a sermon coming soon:))”

A short time later they replied…

“Read Ps 25...verses 15-17 I could have written it...it is somewhat remarkable to imagine how even in those times their troubles are like ours...its not some far off fetched situation it makes them real...they were like trying to figure things out, dealing with feelings of loss, anger, worthlessness, failure, sickness and despair....WOW....its like psalms is Davids personal journey between him n GOD....

And yes, it is! Many of the songs and poems in the book of Psalms are probably taken right out of the pages of David's personal journal, and David didn't hold anything back. He was brutally honest! But thank God, David also acknowledged God as his

David Acknowledged
God as His Hope

Psalm 25:20-21 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.

David acknowledged God as his Guard, his Rescuer, his Protector, his Refuge, his Hope! When you talk to God, do you ask Him to guard your life? To rescue you from your enemies? You might say, "But I don't really have any enemies, I get along with everybody!" Have you forgotten the enemy of your soul? How about these enemies: anger, lust, pride, hate, depression, greed, jealousy, unforgiveness? Do you ask God to help you have integrity and uprightness? Do you find your hope in Him, or is your hope somewhere else? And by the way, I don't know if you've ever noticed the last verse of Psalm 25.

Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!

A lot of theologians wonder why this verse or sentence was tagged on to this prayer. There's a lot of different opinions, so I'm just gonna throw mine into the hat. David had been praying for himself, for his salvation, his forgiveness, his rescue, but I believe David knew how desperately the people he led needed God! He knew he wasn't the only one with issues. He knew Israel had troubles as a society. David also knew, that as a spiritual leader, he bore some of the responsibility. And I believe David wanted to be a good example to the people of what it means to acknowledge God in every aspect of your life! Dads, moms, older siblings, teachers, coaches, employers, leaders, co-workers, public servants, volunteers, whatever roll you serve in this life, remember this: your relationship with God will show through in the way you live your life, and there's always someone watching!
Let's pray!